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Costco Interview
Questions

30 Questions and Answers by Rachelle Enns
Updated October 14th, 2020 | Rachelle is a job search expert, career coach, and headhunter
who helps everyone from students to fortune executives find success in their career.
Job Interviews     Companies     Shopping     Retail    

Question 1 of 30

How do you define good member service?

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Answer Examples

1.

How do you define good member service?

Tell the interviewer that excellent member service is having a positive attitude and doing what it takes to ensure the customer comes back to your store. You might share that you think excellent customer service means having a smile on your face, saying please & thank you, and providing a great experience for the member.

Rachelle's Answer

"To me, great member service means that my customers are happier when they leave than when they initially arrived. I want every Costco member to feel like they received their money's worth from their membership commitment. This contentment should come from excellent service and variety in new products."

2.

What is your best personal trait?

The interviewer wants to learn more about who you are, at the core. Think about the one thing that people repeatedly commend you for; this is your answer to this question! If you are not sure of what to mention, you can take a free personality test, like 16personalities.com and comb through your results for ideas.

Rachelle's Answer

"I have been told that my best trait is my ability to relate to people. My co-workers often mention that they really admire this trait. I can strike up a meaningful conversation with nearly anyone."

3.

You have been out of work for a while, what have you been doing?

If you have a gap in your employment history, be prepared to discuss what you have been doing during this time. The interviewer needs to hear that you have been doing something productive with your time. You might share how you have been spending your days searching for jobs. Perhaps you have been caring for a loved one who is ill. Maybe you have been lucky enough to take a European vacation. Or, perhaps you have been furthering your education. Just share with the interviewer how you have been productive with your time.

Rachelle's Answer

"I have been out of work for the past three months; however, I have not been stagnant. I took a trip to Italy to see family and have been doing a significant amount of community outreach work to fill my time while I look for that perfect position."

4.

Would you enjoy handing out samples, socializing and promoting products to Costco members?

If you are applying for a job in a Costco store, then your answer should be very receptive to this type of task! The interviewer wants to hear that you are comfortable conversing with other people. As a customer service person, you are definitely a sociable person. Explain to the interviewer that you enjoy getting to know your co-workers, work hard to build relationships with your regular customers through simple interactions, and look forward coming to work each day in customer service. You might work best in a large group setting, or one-on-one interactions might be your thing. Either way, you are a sociable person, and you are okay promoting products to members.

Rachelle's Answer

"I think it would be great fun to converse with Costco members, encouraging them to try new products. I also think it would be enjoyable to gather feedback and thoughts on the customers' reactions to new products."

5.

Why do you want to work here and why should we hire you?

Costco's focus is bringing its members quality, brand-name, products at great prices. Tell the interviewer that you support Costco's goal of providing families with these great products and reasonable prices. Recognize that you would be helping create an environment where friends, family, and business colleagues come to shop together. Be excited to share that you would get to be a part of something great by being an employee at Costco!

Why should they hire you? Talking about ourselves in this way can be challenging. If you are unsure, talk about to a few colleagues, family members, and friends. Ask them for their opinion. You'll probably be surprised at the consistency in their responses! Their answers will give you insight into how to answer this part of the question. Tell the interviewer what sets you apart, and explain how your co-workers, family members, and friends have encouraged you with your gift in this area.

Rachelle's Answer

"I want to work here because your organization is so huge and offers an incredible amount of opportunity for growth. You should hire me because I would be a loyal and long-term hire. I understand what goes into sourcing, onboarding, and training a new employee and I would be fully dedicated to this process and my potential career growth with Costco."

Anonymous Answer

"Costco is a good, reliable member of the community. I want to work with people that like what they do and a company that offers growth opportunities."

Alexandra's Answer

Great answer! You address the first part of the question really well. It's great to point out the positives of the company. I think you could expand on why they should hire you. What sets you apart from others or why would you be good at this job?

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6.

If you were given a choice, which work related task would you leave for last? Why?

The interviewer at Costco would like to know which tasks you tend to leave for last. Often we will move the tasks that we don't want for last in the act of procrastination. Other times, we will mindfully leave a specific responsibility for last because we feel that it makes the most sense. Help the interviewer to determine which personality type you are by answering this question.

Rachelle's Answer

"I am not a procrastinator; however, I would push the store cleaning to the end of the day if it were possible. It feels better to leave the store in pristine condition!"

Anonymous Answer

"Something that can be easily done and quickly. Tackle the tough ones first, leaving the easy ones for a good, strong finish."

Alexandra's Answer

Great answer! It's great that you lay out why you would choose an easy task to be last.

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7.

Tell me about a time when you led a team. What was your biggest success factor?

The interviewer would like to hear about a time that you led a team, with a positive outcome. Showcase for the interviewer the primary factors that made your leadership style a success. Your example could come from the workplace or perhaps a time when you led a group project during your post-secondary studies. Be sure to tie in how your leadership skills will benefit the team at Costco.

Rachelle's Answer

"Just last month I was asked to lead our day shift employees when my boss was away on sick leave. I took charge for two weeks, and the experience was quite positive! I believe the biggest success factor was that I tried to emulate his leadership style and did ask his help when I wasn't sure what to do. I feel this experience prepared me for a leadership role. I am excited to take on a team lead role again."

8.

What is your personal mission statement?

The interviewer would like to know if you have a personal motto or mantra. Not everyone has a mission statement or personal mantra just off the cuff. In business, especially when entering leadership, this is an important question to ponder. Do you have a quote that inspires you or a saying that you grew up with that resonates with you?

Rachelle's Answer

"My mission statement is to love myself first, stick up for others, and make the world a better place than it was when I arrived here. I am big on mindfulness, and this mental shift in me has made me a better person."

9.

How do you expect to make a difference at Costco?

The interviewer wants to hear that you are passionate about working at Costco and have thought about how you can make a positive impact while working there. Think about what kind of impact you could make. Possible things that might come to mind are:

- Creating a favorable environment for members by smiling, asking them if you can help them find something, and providing them with excellent service.
- Building business relationships with your co-workers, so everyone looks forward to coming to work each day.
- By helping ensure a place that provides solutions for birthday gifts, wedding gifts, baby gifts, home decor, and all the other fun things we look forward to shopping for!

Whatever comes to mind that you are passionate about, share it with the interviewer!

Rachelle's Answer

"I expect to make a difference at Costco by being a team member who encourages a high-performance, positive workplace mindset. I want to ensure that the customers at this location are always happy to be here and that they find what they need."

10.

What would you do if a coworker asked you to help them steal?

The interviewer would like to know how you would react if put in an awkward, or potentially harmful situation like being asked by a co-worker to steal with them. Theft can occur in many ways in the workplace and is not necessarily reserved to blatantly taking a product. Ensure that you are aware of the different ways a co-worker may try to pass stealing off as 'no big deal.'

- Timecard fabrication, also known as "buddy punching" where you punch in for a coworker who is not present
- 'Borrowing' money from the cash register
- Falsifying vendor or expense accounts
- Taking items from the lost and found
- Stealing data or documents containing trade secrets
- Taking expensive office supplies like ink, or adding personal items to supply orders
- Billing hours to clients that they did not work

Of course, you already know how to answer this question! Express that you would never engage in this type of behavior and discuss how you would go about reporting this type of situation. If this has happened to you in the past, you can talk about the case.

Rachelle's Answer

"buddy punching"

11.

How does Costco fit into your overall career plans?

The interviewer hopes to hear that you will stay with the company long-term.

If you are a student, tell the interviewer that you plan to stay at Costco through graduation, and then share what career or further education you hope to be pursuing following graduation. If Costco offers jobs in your field, such as management, be sure to mention that you would be open to considering a career in your area at Costco if one is available upon graduating.

If you are not a student, no problem! Simply share that you see yourself working at Costco long-term, and share if you desire to be promoted at some point in your career along with what promotion you might be interested in. You might say something like, "I see myself working at Costco long-term. I would like to start out as a Cashier, and I hope to be promoted to a management position within the next 5-10 years."

Rachelle's Answer

"I see myself working at Costco long-term. I would like to start out as a Cashier, and I hope to be promoted to a management position within the next 5-10 years."

12.

What do you know about Costco's working environment?

Start off by telling the interviewer that you know Costco cares about its employees, and they like to ensure their staff is respected. Be sure to mention that you know Costco supports workplace equality for its employees, and they are focused on workplace ethics and obeying the law. Costco's website will also tell you that they are "a fast-paced team environment filled with challenges and opportunities." These are all great things to share with the interviewer!

Rachelle's Answer

"a fast-paced team environment filled with challenges and opportunities."

13.

What are your greatest strenghts?

Which personal strengths make you excellent at your job? Strengths can be skills or qualities that help you overcome difficult circumstances or accomplish challenging tasks. In a work context, your strengths will help you to complete your to-do list, understand client needs, and help you to apply what you have learned in your training. Talk to the interviewer about a couple of your strengths and why those will help you to be successful in this role. If you can tie your strengths into the qualities mentioned in the job posting, even better!

Some great strengths to mention are:

- Communicative
- Loyal
- Collaborative
- Tech Savvy
- Flexible in Schedule/Availability
- Persistent and Determined
- Eager for Knowledge/New Skills

Rachelle's Answer

"My strongest skills that help me on a daily basis are my people-skills, and the ability to close a sale without being pushy. I relate to the customer, get to know them and their needs, build excellent rapport and can make solid recommendations that suit them. They buy, return, and repeat. And it is something I enjoy a lot. I love to see my regulars, hear about their lives, help them look and feel their best!"

Anonymous Answer

"My greatest strengths are listening."

Alexandra's Answer

Good answer! Try to elaborate on how this is a strength in the workplace. You could also consider adding 1-2 more strengths, as this is your chance to show what you bring to the table that other candidates may not.

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14.

What are some of your weaknesses?

Pick weaknesses that are not a core skill for this position. You can be candid in your answer; recognizing that you aren't great at something and acknowledging your need to improve. Be sure to have an action plan in place for improving on this weakness.

Perhaps you are watching TED talks to gain skills in a particular area, reading the latest-and-greatest book on the subject, or maybe you are taking a seminar at a nearby community center. We are all human with our weaknesses, so don't be afraid to share yours!

Rachelle's Answer

"Everyone has weaknesses. I tend to be too nice sometimes. When vendors are not fulfilling their requirements, I tend to believe there must be a logical and understandable reason. I have to remind myself that we are paying for a service and they must meet our expectations."

Anonymous Answer

"One of my main weaknesses is turning away work. I feel guilty for saying, "I can not take anything more on," but have learned to say I can't."

Alexandra's Answer

I think this answer is a little unclear. You mention that turning away work is a weakness, but the way you describe it sounds like a strength. This is definitely a tough interview question. Instead of spinning it this way, I recommend describing a true weakness and then a way that you are combatting it. You could also position it as "One time I received a piece of feedback that I could be better at ____. Since then, I've done XYZ to improve."

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15.

What sources do you look to when you need to solve a complicated problem?

The interviewer wants to know that you can think outside the box, or even ask for help when you are stuck on a complicated problem. Maybe you look to a mentor or boss for advice. Perhaps you have handbooks, manuals and systems you turn to for help. Offer some relevant examples based on your industry. If you work in the medical field, you may turn to textbooks, online research, colleagues or even patient's history to find the right solution. If you work in customer service, you may ask the customer what they need to find the best way to solve the problem. Show the interviewer that you are knowledgeable and equipped to handle these types of scenarios.

Rachelle's Answer

"When faced with a complicated problem, I will look to the resources that my current company has provided me. The answer is almost always in there. If it's more of a moral dilemma vs. a knowledge-based dilemma, I will ask my supervisor for his thoughts and opinion since I value him as a mentor and expert in our industry."

Anonymous Answer

"If I don't have the answer, I look to co-workers, paper and online information, and friends and family."

Alexandra's Answer

Great answer!

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More Interview Q&As
Explore expert tips and resources to be more confident in your next interview.
Behavioral
Common
Phone
Tough
Leadership
All Interview Topics
All Career Q&As
Suggested Career
Interview Q&As
Continue practicing by visiting these similar question sets
Manager
Retail Buyer
Cashier
Assistant Manager
Sales
30 Costco Interview Questions
Win your next job by practicing from our question bank. We have thousands of questions and answers created by interview experts.

Interview Questions

  1. How do you define good member service?
  2. What is your best personal trait?
  3. You have been out of work for a while, what have you been doing?
  4. Would you enjoy handing out samples, socializing and promoting products to Costco members?
  5. Why do you want to work here and why should we hire you?
  6. If you were given a choice, which work related task would you leave for last? Why?
  7. Tell me about a time when you led a team. What was your biggest success factor?
  8. What is your personal mission statement?
  9. How do you expect to make a difference at Costco?
  10. What would you do if a coworker asked you to help them steal?
  11. How does Costco fit into your overall career plans?
  12. What do you know about Costco's working environment?
  13. What are your greatest strenghts?
  14. What are some of your weaknesses?
  15. What sources do you look to when you need to solve a complicated problem?
  16. Do you think it is possible to be a good team member, yet disagree with the leader?
  17. Describe to me a perfect retail environment.
  18. Tell me about the type of team members you dislike working with.
  19. If you found a twenty dollar bill in the parking lot, what would you do?
  20. Do you shop at Costco?
  21. Where do you see yourself in the Costco organization in two years?
  22. What motivates you to work hard?
  23. Tell me about a time when you went above and beyond for customer service?
  24. When a problem requires a quick solution, how do you respond?
  25. How well do you handle customer complaints?
  26. Tell me about your experience in working in retail.
  27. How would your references describe you?
  28. Tell me about a time when you had to be a leader. How was the outcome?
  29. What position at Costco would you most like to work?
  30. What questions do you have for me?
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